Michael Worley and J. Logan Sewell put on this fabulous Antique Bowie Knife Show in Natchez for members of the Antique Bowie Knife Association and their guests. It is only fitting that these Antique Bowies be exhibited a few miles south of the Mississippi Sandbar where James Bowie made the knife famous.
On Friday afternoon on 18 August 2006, a reception was held at the antebellum mansion, Dunleith. Logan Sewell exhibited a case of his fine Antique Bowie Knives. On Saturday the Knife Show was held in the Natchez Community Center near the Bowie Tavern and up from Natchez-Under-The-Hill. The Banquet was catered by the staff from Dunleith which has an excellent restaurant. At the banquet J. R. Edmondson gave an enlightening talk about the origins of Bowie’s knife and the character of the man. I was honored to provide a few comments.
Awards were given to the following for there outstanding knives and exhibits:
-Jack Shaffer for his New Orleans Push Dagger Exhibit
-Bob Berryman for the wonderful IXL George Washington exhibition Bowie
-Floyd Ritter for his large collection of Sheffield Bowies
-Peter McMickle for his outstanding San Francisco knives
-Logan Sewell for his double ivory handle Dufilho Push Dagger
A great time was had by all.
STOP IN JACKSON
I left Madison, Alabama on Wednesday headed for my good friends Max & Marva Goodman’s in Brandon, Mississippi. I had an appointment to see Mrs. Jeanne Oglesby , a descendant of Jesse Perkins. The oldest dated Bowie knife is in the Old State House Museum in Jackson. It was made by SCHIVELY PHILAD and engraved on the silver sheath is:
R. P BOWIE 1831.
The next day Max and I spent 6 hours with a most gracious lady. She read to us letters that Angus McNeill and others had written to Jesse on his travels to Dicksville, Richmond and Sulphur Springs, Virginia. She gave me a copy of Jesse’s letter proposing marriage to Mary B Fontaine, the Great Grand Daughter of Patrick Henry. She filled our heads with more than we could comprehend about this man, his family and descendants. She let me photograph a picture of a portrait of Jesse Perkins which is included herein. The portrait was drawn by his wife’s brother, Edward Fontaine.
BOWIE RESEARCH IN NATCHEZ
Max and I made a fast trip to Natchez on Friday morning. We stopped at the Natchez foundation where the old Adams county court records are being preserved. They provided us with several court cases involving the Bowie Brothers. We were allowed to photograph these records. We did find original signatures of James Rezin and Stephen Bowie. John was accused of running a Faro table in his house but was acquitted. He didn’t have to sign anything. We know in 1824 that James bought a knife for $1.50.
Dunleith was built in Greek revival style, with twenty-six Tuscan columns surrounding the house. The brick and stucco columns support a double gallery with intricately designed wrought iron railings spanning the columns. Jeffersonian windows extend from the floor to the ceiling on the first floor, providing ventilation and easy access to the gallery from any room.
Enclosed within the 14 1/2 inch thick walls is 9,500 square feet of floor space. The floors are made of heart pine, with cypress baseboards painted to look like oak. Italian marble mantle pieces adorn each fireplace and elegantly designed ceiling medallions enhance the chandeliers hung throughout the house. Dunleith is now a Bed and Breakfast